Designed to be a “benchmark for elegance and finesse” in Chile, this beautiful Los Vascos Grande Reserve 2010 blends Cabernet Sauvignon with Carmenere, Syrah and Malbec for a rich bouquet of cherries, strawberries, blackberries, plums, and raspberries. Chile’s native Carmenere lends hints of bay leaves and pepper. Aged 12 months in oak barrels, 50 percent of them new, the wine is at its best when decanted for an hour before serving. Enjoy this expression of the best Chile has to offer in the very French style of Domaine Lafite Rothschild. Visit Pasternak Wine Imports to learn more.
This winery uses the best grapes in the Robertson area of South Africa for this flagship wine of its Reserve Selection. Its deep ruby red tones mirror its richness and robustness. The Rooiberg Cabernet is matured in French oak for 18 months during which it develops notes of coffee and dark chocolate. The wine is 13.5 percent ABV.Located in the Southern Cape, the winery was founded in 1964 and has been a top achiever in Robertson over the years, winning a number of gold and double gold medals. It’s in what it calls a “valley of wine and roses,” the Breede River Valley. Today the winery has 34 member farms.
South Africa’s soils in the Robertson region were once home to breeders of championship thoroughbred horses. But for many centuries, the De Wets family at Excelsior has consistently produced fine wines. This 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon epitomizes what wine writers mean when they talk about an excellent price/value relationship. Like many South African wines, those from Excelsior “over-deliver,” offering great value at moderate prices.
This wine is redolent of black currant scents, full-bodied and plummy. With good structure, it partners well with many foods from richly sauced pastas to red meats. The family’s wines date to 1697 and De Wets created a long tradition of delicious offerings, based on the philosophy that good wines start in the vineyard. Cabernet is the most planted variety at Excelsior where the vines range from five to 20 years of age.
Water stress is used to create tiny, concentrated berries, according to Johan Stemmet, winemaker. That concentration shows up in the finished products and brings pleasure with every sip.
Part of the Baron Rothschild group, Los Vascos has been making wines for a very long time, today offering moderately priced, well made options such as this fruity and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon, well balanced with gentle tannins, a spicy finish, and dark berry fruits. Moderately priced, it makes a great introduction to French wines for the novice or a pleasant and affordable wine by the glass in a restaurant. It’a hard to argue with success and Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) has one with this Cab produced on one of Chile’s oldest wine estates. Visit Pasternak Wine Imports for more information.
Thelema Mountain Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa, is located on the slopes of Simonsburg Mountain and is a great example of the growing excellence of South African winemaking. Family run since 1988, it produces this rich, plummy Cabernet Sauvignon with mint nuances, mocha, dark chocolate and boysenberry fruit. The mint is believed to come from oils from eucalyptus trees, which ring the vineyard. 2009 was a an excellent year with warm, dry conditions for ripening. The wine received five consecutive 90+ ratings from Wine Spectator. Gyles Web, proprietor and cellarmaster, is a former accountant, now focused on high quality, small production wines that have won well-deserved acclaim. 14.5 percent alcohol, this Cabernet delivers intensity and freshness. Visit http://www.CapeClassics.com.
Intensely dark and rich in black fruit flavors, Cakebread Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of uneven winter and spring weather conditions (the vintner called the growing season a seesaw) that reduced the grape crop but at the same time, led to concentrated flavors of black cherry, black currant and pepper. That summer’s warm days and cool nights presented ideal conditions for full maturation. The wine is made with 81 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, seven percent Merlot and Cabernet Franc, four percent Petit Verdot and one percent Malbec. The result is a well-balanced wine with elegance, vibrant fruit flavors, good tannins and a long finish. Go to www.cakebread.com.